Sunday, July 20, 2008

Amazon to offer streamed movies and TV


amazon-unbox-drm-782615.gif has opened the Amazon Unbox, removing the need to download content and instead streaming it to customer’s televisions sets. Called Amazon Video on Demand, it is expected to be introduced Thursday, The New York Times reports. Apple’s iTunes store and Amazon’s initial foray required customers to download movies before they could begin watching them. Amazon Video on Demand streams the content, eliminating the wait. To access the service, potential users will have to purchase a $300 Internet video link, which is offered by Sony Bravia. Currently, Sony is the only company to support the service, but Amazon is working with other vendors to come on board. Amazon’s initial offering will include 40,000 movie and television titles.

Amazon joins Netflix, Microsoft and Apple in the digital video fray, as each company continues to expand their footprint in the living room. Apple iTunes is a well-known entity and, paired with the recently updated Apple TV, has a head start. However, the competition for streaming video is stiffening. Microsoft and Netflix recently announced a partnership that will allow users to stream video through their Xbox. Customers must have an Xbox Gold membership to take advantage of the 10,000 movies and television shows that the pairing will offer.

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